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Kentucky Basketball: ESPN gives Virginia Tech a slight edge over Wildcats

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ESPN gives the Hokies an edge over the Cats at Rupp Arena.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky vs Monmouth-NJ Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats will face one of their biggest challenges of the season when the red-hot Virginia Tech Hokies come to Rupp Arena this Saturday.

The Hokies enter this week at 9-1 and are blowing away opponents with arguably the best offense in college basketball. They rank No. 2 nationally in three-point percentage (46.8%), hitting almost half the threes they attempt.

They rank No. 4 in assists per game (19.9) and 10th in assist-turnover ratio (1.543), the latter of which Kentucky ranks 138th (1.050).

Virginia Tech even leads the nation in points per shot (1.66) and adjusted field-goal percentage (64.2%).

What makes this even scarier for the Cats is their three-point defense has been atrocious at times this season. They currently rank 231st nationally in opponent threes made per game (8.2).

All of this is a big reason why the Hokies are ranked 12th in ESPN’s BPI. That same ranking has Kentucky coming in at 35th overall.

That would explain why ESPN actually gives the Hokies a slight edge in Saturday’s matchup. The ESPN BPI matchup predictor is giving the Hokies 51.5-48.5 edge in this game:

While it’s still early enough in the season that these rankings have to be taken with a big grain of salt, it’s still clear that the Cats need to bring their A game Saturday if they’re going to beat the Hokies in Rupp Arena.